Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Christmas Hockey deals

Christmas hockey deals are a dime a dozen. I find that a few months before or right after the holiday season is the best time to shop for sports gear. Its also easier to find places online that have promo codes for these places.

If you missed the black friday deals on hockey equipment, don't fret. There are most likely more to discounts on good gear to come. The Christmas season is usually when I buy all of my hockey equipment anyway, especially skates. So keep those eyes open for online sports coupons. I know they can be hard to find, but if you do a search, some amazing ones will pop up every now and then.

I still haven't forgotten about the old equipment posts, I 've been busy with work. I'll get to it as soon as I can. I've also been looking at some best of Ovechkin goals on youtube. The guy does make watching the NHL fun, hopefully he'll continue to sell the sport of hockey and get it on everybody's radar again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Online Hockey Equipment Posts

I've ran in to some down time on making some hockey equipment related posts. I've been extremely busy with other things. Once I get some batteries for my camera, I'll do the posts on my old hockey gear. I'll be sure to point out the damage on each of them like where I was high sticked in the head and the mark it made on my hockey helmet. I'll also discuss issues and show the problems that I had with my old inline hockey skates. My main problem was the wheels losing grip on a wooden floor.

So that's that. Nothing too interesting, just wanted to remind all of the hockey fans out there to enjoy the NHL season and that I haven't forgotten to do what I said I was going to do. On a side note, everyone go out and pick up NHL 10 for the XBOX 360 or the PS3. I've played it and it's quite fun. There's still something sluggish about the controls. My personal favorite hockey game off all time was NHL 2k8 for PS3. I thought it flowed well. Oh well, nothing beats real hockey, or in my case roller hockey. It may be fun to watch, but it's even more fun playing it. So, don't just sit and watch the NHL, pick up your stick and skates and keep your skills fresh.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Discount Hockey Equipment Good or Bad?

I know every hockey player out there wants to know how to find cheap hockey equipment. As I said in a previous post, buying cheap equipment can have negative consequences. This post is different from that. That is why the title is Discount Hockey Equipment. Most people think that both subjects are the same, they can be, but not necessarily. Some hockey gear is better than others, that is why it is more expensive. There are times however, when this so called expensive gear is discounted at stores. The reason I'm posting about this is because we are getting close to the so called "discount product time" in sports. Through out the years, I've seena pattern that all online hockey stores seem to follow. What is that pattern? Read below to find out.

The retail hockey stores and online hockey stores both seem to start discounting items around late October and All through parts of November. Why is that? I'm not sure exactly, but I think it has something to do with the Christmas season. In all my years of playing hockey, these were the times when I got the best deals on my hockey equipment. So, to all the inline hockey players out there, be on the look for discount coupons and coupon codes for all your favorite hockey stores. You can get some great deals when all the hockey gear goes on sale. I find that this time of the year is a particularly great period to pick up a pair of brand new inline hockey skates for an extremely low price. I'll be doing some searching soon, and I just wanted everyone to know that they should be on the look out for such offers. There is nothing worse than searching for a hockey coupon code, finding it and then learning that you missed the deal by a day or two. Trust me, I've had things like that happen more than once. So, I'm warning everyone to keep their eyes and ears open during this time.

Usually this is when I get the most expensive and important gear on sale. I hold out on buying hockey helmets and skates for as long as possible until I reserve this time of the year for my hockey shopping. If you are a hockey player, then those will most likely be the two pieces of equipment that cost the most for you and you are going to want to get those when they are on sale. For goalies, you may be able to get a discount on goalie pads, waffles, chest protectors or gloves. Goalies have to deal with the most expensive gear all around I think, so they may want to take extra special attention here. There's no secret, just be on the look out and search your favorite search engines for hockey codes and hockey coupons for your favorite online hockey stores. Now is the time of the year when you can start to find some great discount hockey equipment.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Old Hockey Equipment

I've written a post about old used hockey equipment before. This post will be a little a different. It's more of a setup for a series of upcoming posts in which I show some of my old hockey gear. I was originally going to just lump all the pictures of all my old equipment here, but I figured why not include them in seperate portions it would make more sense. So this is just the first little article in which I'll talk about the equipment as a whole and then next few will break down each individual piece.

Before I forget, I came across a cool little blog called The Lind Hockey file. I recommend everyone check it out. It has some nice NHL information on there and an interesting discussion in the comments regarding Detroit's ability to make it to the stanley cup finals for the 09-10 season. Are the Red Wings too old to pull it off? I'm not sure, we'll have to wait and see.

The used hockey gear I'll be talking about is atleast 7-8 years old. Some of it is even older. The funny thing is, some of it is not even used anymore by anyone. What I mean by that is some of the equipment companies were bought out by others. I know you can't find my old jofa gloves anywhere anymore. They were actually a very good pair, one of the best I had owned and from what I remember, weren't too expensive. They were actually a gift, but I saw the price tag at the store.

My helmet is possibly the newest piece of equipment in the bunch. It's a Mission carbon helmet. Recently, the Mission Hockey company was bought out by Bauer. My second newest piece of gear was my Mission hockey pants. These were very good as well. It seems as though I was on a Mission kick towards the end of my hockey playing. Both those pieces of gear were purchased at an online hockey store. I had great experiences with purchasing them. Well, not the hockey pants. They actually had to be returned at least once, because they didn't fit me properly. That was more of a mistake by me and not the online store. Now I did have a problem with a pair of skates that I purchased not too long ago, but I won't mention the store here. I will say that the store itself did give me a refund for the hockey skates after I had asked for it with no problems whatsoever. That is why I won't give them a hard time.

So stay tuned for for the upcoming hockey posts. They will have pictures and a little information about each in them. Who knew old used hockey equipment could be so interesting?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reebok Hockey Jerseys

As you all know, I'm fascinated with the Reebok Hockey company. Being a hockey player myself, I know that the technology that is used with making the equipment for the sport can make a huge difference in one's playing abilities. I believe this is true in inline hockey more than ice hockey, but that is besides the point. Their relatively new RBK Edge premier hockey jerseys are extremely cool in concept. They supposedly repel moisture so you don't have to be soaked when playing long hours. If that isn't cool enough they also are very lightweight and allow the player to have a better range of movement and conformatablity. I don't know of any other company in the sport of hockey that has come up with something like this.

Reebok's Play Dry system is supposed to make water collect in beads and then repel from the jersey. When I first heard about this, like most hockey players, I thought it was great. It sounds like something that would be made for a racing sport. Who wouldn't want to play a game of hockey in a jersey that is less restrictive and won't collect sweat from playing all day long. All seemed great, because both roller hockey players and ice hockey players could utilize this hockey jersey and help themselves be one step ahead of their opposing competition. I mean having great hockey gear is essential to having an edge in the sport. The whole RBK Edge jersey would've been a great addition to my hockey equipment. Or so I thought. I still have yet to buy one. What is the reason that an avid roller hockey player such as myself would be hesitant to go out and get one of these cutting edge jerseys? Well, it turns out the technology of water repelling itself is keeping from going out and trying on the RBK Edge.

How many times have we seen things like this in the world. A brand new thing comes along that fixes one problem, but creates another. Stuff like this has happened in other sports. Usually, the equipment manufacturers find a way around the problem and fix the issues at hand. In all fairness, this the way things are. In a sport like hockey, you have multiple choices. Now granted, the NHL players have to wear these jerseys when they play. Remember, Reebok is their official equipment provider. They have a pretty big deal with the NHL, so you won't see players not wearing these jerseys when you go to a game. If you read about the problems themselves, you may not think it is a big deal and I don't think it's as huge as some hockey players think it is. But, complaints are complaints. Sports leagues are full players that complain. Some are valid and some are just downright petty. That's not to say people are whiners, depending on the way you play hockey, it may affect you or others differently.

I've read complaints about NHL players having their hands and gloves soaked while playing hockey. It makes sense, if the jersey is getting rid of all the moisture, where does that moisture go? It has to repel somewhere. In a high intense sport such as hockey, there will be alot of moisture and having that all gather in one spot can be annoying. Who wants to stick handle with soaking wet hands. What kind of effect will this have on the hockey sticks? Will this screw up slapshots or wrist shots? These are all very valid questions for those who play the sport of hockey. Will this keep me from going out and buying of these jerseys. In short, no it won't. I will eventually get around to purchasing a RBK Edge jersey, but I won't be rushing out to obtain one. I'll get one when I am good and ready to or to be more precise when I can afford one.

I don't want to take anything away from Reebok though, because they did have an extremely good concept here. The thought of having a jersey be a performance enhancing piece of equipment and comfort is a great one in my opinion. No doubt that players today are increasingly having much better hockey equipment that will lend to giving them more of an edge against yesterdays players. This almost reminds me of that whole swimsuit debacle that was happening this year. You know, where all the swim records were being broken because of the new streamlined swimsuits. I don't quite think anything like this has happened in hockey yet, but we probably aren't far from it. The RBK Edge jerseys are just bringing us one step further I think. One day, we will have hockey gear that will truly seperate us from the days of old and I'm talking significant.

I believe any future hockey gear enhancements in the industry will mostly be speed related. I've always said speed is essential in the sport of hockey, especially roller hockey. When players increase their speed, they increase chances of scoring goals. They increase their likely hood of getting to the puck or taking out an opposing player. They increase probably almost every aspect of their game. Just as Reebok has done with their pump skates series, they have taken hockey jerseys to a creative new level. That's one thing I like about this manufacturer as a hockey equipment company. They think outside the box when it comes to not only what players want, but what they need and will benefit from as well. What will be next? I'm not sure. The sport of hockey has declined in popularity over the years. I mean, I love the sport and I do know of many that are diehard players and are huge fans of the NHL. I think it's long overdue for a jump start. Will this happen sooner rather than later. Who knows. All I know is that the idea of these Reebok hockey jerseys is a good start and will help push the momentum forward.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hockey Wheels

Being a roller hockey player, one of the pieces of equipment that I am quite familiar with are roller hockey wheels. I've said many times that if you are an inline hockey player, then your skates are probably the most important piece of hockey gear you will ever own. Your skates can make you or break you as a player. I've gone threw many problems and found some solutions over the years regarding my wheels and bearings. I'm basically going to break down this post into a few sections. One being the hockey wheels themselves and the type that I like to buy and the best and worst performing brands. Then I will get in to the whole bearings issue and talk about what I'd done wrong there for years. There's bunch of things to cover when talking about your skate wheels, some of it I already went over, but I'll reiterate so people reading this won't have to go back and search like a million paragraphs of material.



Hockey Wheels



My first experience with inline skate wheels was actually not on a pair of hockey skates. It was on a pair of roller blades. Those wheels were terrible. Back then, I didn't even know about the bearings in the wheels because I was a novice when it came to knowing about hockey gear. A fellow hockey player turned me on to those not long after I started playing, but for awhile, I was clueless. These roller blade wheels rattled on and on where ever I would skate. I couldn't gain any speed and compete with the people who had real hockey skates. Eventually these wheels would split and become bumpy. A tip for everyone out there, you'll never be that good a hockey player if your wheels are making noise and feel bumpy. There is just no way to compete against other people with a real pair of skates, not unless everyone else had noisey crappy hockey wheels.



My 2nd pair of skates did the same thing. They were a pair of buckle skates made by CCM. Me being naive, I thought that because they had the CCM logo on them, they were hockey skates. They weren't. They made noise, the wheels rattled on and on and eventually split. Keep in mind that CCM does make some great hockey gear and were actually bought out by Reebok, but I think these were some generic brand of skates for recreational consumers, not sports players. Like everything in life, I learned about skates the hard way. It cost me some time and some money to eventually start to get to the right place when it came to playing hockey. The good news is that I think I succeeded and over came my ignorance to the sport of roller hockey many years ago.



My 3rd pair of skates were by Bauer and by this time I started getting hip to the whole idea of different hockey wheels for the skates. I signed up for an indoor league that had a sport court surface. Before this I had always gotten clear skate wheels because I thought that they felt smoother. In most cases, these clear wheels were probably indoor wheels made of a softer material to grip the surface. I used those clear on outdoor surfaces, which wore them down fast. Again, it was my ignorance that did this. For the indoor league though they said we NEEDED to have clear wheels or sport court wheels. I thought wow, there's a difference in material? I went to the local Play It Again Sports store and looked specifically for sport court wheels. I found a really cool orange pair. I don't remember the name. They may have been either Hyper wheels or Kryptonics wheels. I started reading the back of the packet and saw that indoor wheels were soft. The softer they were, the more control you had with stopping and turning. The harder the wheels were, the faster you went, but you didn't have as much control. This was some cool stuff and it got me into experimentation.



A friend of mine who was a really good hockey player always had the best equipment. He kept up to date on all things roller hockey. I noticed one day he had the front and back wheel the same and the two inner wheels a different brand. I asked him what the hell that was for. He told me that the front and back wheels were harder hockey wheels for speed and that the inner wheels were soft for control. I had to try out this little theory and low and behold, I had the best hockey games of my life that way. I outskated everyone and manuevered around the rink with ease. I suggest for any inline hockey player who is a speed freak to try it out. I was extremely satisified with the results.

As for the bearings inside my skates. I had a pair that came with abec 3 bearings, but I usually switched them out for something slightly higher. I think the Bauer skates I put abec 5s in. Then later on I added some abec 7 bearings. The way I cleaned my bearings were completely wrong. I used to add WD40 to them. Well, I sprayed it on them. I thought it would clean them, but what it would do is dry them up and get rid of the good bearing grease that would actually cause them to rotate faster. This was a huge mistake and thankfully I know to never do it again. The best thing to do is to just buy some hockey skate bearing lubricant.

Now I'd like to give some words of wisdom to some people who play indoor hockey. I've played on sport courts and I've said that softer wheels help you grip. Normally these wheels are great for indoor hockey with one exception. If you are playing inside a roller skating rink, you might want to think twice about the type of wheels you get. Usually, public skating rinks are not outfitted with a hockey sport court surface, so the indoor hockey wheels may have a different effect. In my case, the rink surface was hardwood flooring, almost like a basketball gym floor. The first game or two that I played the softer hockey wheels worked fine. After that, it seems that the sticky softness of the wheels picked up a soot like dust around the entire wheel. It looked as though I had skated in ashes and they actually stuck to the wheels. This became a huge problem. I couldn't wash this off, it was like dusty scuffiness that clinged to the wheels. Why was this so bad for my hockey playing? The wheels lost their stickiness because of the soot like covering. It looked as though I had skated out the street and the wheels got dirty, but when I tried to skate forward and go faster, I would actually slide and slip to the side and sometimes fall. Think of it as trying to ice skate in normal sneakers or shoes with no blade to glide on and that was the feeling. My feet would just slide out from under me and if I did gain enough momentum forget about turns. The only thing cool about that was that I could hockey stop like on ice skates and it would slide a little bit. All in all though, it was frustrating.

My theory on wooden surfaces is that I maybe should've used hard wheels, like outdoor wheels. If you think about it, the public skating rink is filled with people who skate outdoors and possibly don't clean their skates. The rinks themselves probably aren't as thoroughly cleaned and taken care of as actual sport court surfaces. So, if you roller hockey play at a public skating rink, make sure that you have hard hockey wheels.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hockey Equipment Update: Reebok, CCM, Bauer, Jofa

If you are wondering why my old hockey equipment posts are showing up all in one day, there is an explanation.  There was a misunderstanding with the blogger team in which they sent all those old hockey posts to a drafted state and they were no longer apart of the blog.  They emailed me and gave me notification that I am now free to republish them.  The problem is that all of my old posts are appearing ahead of my new ones.  Annoying?  Yes it is, but I don't want to dwell on it.  If you want to read my newest post(other than this one), you will see that I linked to it in the first sentence.  With that out of the way I would like to get back to what you are all here for and that is some hockey gear information.

Now those old posts talked about quite a bit of equipment from companies that are either no longer around or have been bought out by others.  I figured I should talk about that since it is kind of indirectly related to the events on this blog.  I say time and time again that we as hockey players are getting less and less choices when it comes to who we get our gear from.  All the hockey companies are partnering and buying each other out.  There's no more Mission Hockey, there is, but it's a apart of Bauer.  Don't forget that Bauer was bought out by Nike awhile ago.  You see where I am heading with this?  That's 3 seperate companies that are now one.  It gets better though.  It does not end there in the world of hockey.

Reebok has made smart business decisions.  Very smart.  Incredibly smart.  If you look at the NHL, they are all over it.  You know who used to make NHL Jerseys?  CCM used to.  Why don't they do that anymore?  Reebok bought them out.  Reebok still keeps the name CCM for certain lines of their products.  I would too, because they are a familiar and popular name in the hockey universe.  Notice though, that you don't see Jofa anymore?  Why?  Well, Reebok bought them out too!  Yep, I think they did it in the early 2000's.  Anyways, they decided that they would phase out the Jofa name and they certainly accomplished that.  I always remember Jofa, because that's what "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky wore.  I'll miss Jofa.  I always liked Jofa's pads, particularly their elbow pads.  I guess good old RBK makes those now.

Oh, I hope you've noticed the recent changes in our blog design as well.  Anything to make it more easy to read these long and boring hockey posts.  Well, to reiterate some things I've said previously, the following are some personal opinions about the state of hockey skates:

I've always had a problem with CCM skates.  Even though they lasted quite long, my foot felt as though it was in a long hallway.  In order for those hockey skates to be tight I needed to be able to do two things.  One of which I did do and the other of would have been impossible for me to even try.  First the impossible thing that no hockey player should try and do is widen their foot.  You most likely will end up breaking it.  There goes your dreams of getting into the NHL.  The second thing, which I did do, was to wear 2 pairs of socks on each foot.  Talk about blisters galore.  Always and I mean always make sure you put cotton at the back of your foot if you plan on doing this.  That's how I fixed that problem with those inline skates.

Now, if Reebok is basically CCM with a different name now, wouldn't they have the same problem.  To be honest, I haven't tried any of their skates yet.  I assume they don't have this issue with their RBK series of skates and I will explain why.  For sometime now, Reebok has revived their old sneaker pump invention and applied it to their skates.  So if they are too wide, I imagine that you just squeeze the pump a few times until it fits better.  There goes that problem out the window.  Can I confirm this for myself?  Nope, but I am guessing here.

I am also going to assume that Bauer's inline hockey skates are still made for narrow footed people like myself.  I've seen several articles that say they do.  If I had the money I would go and buy both pairs of skates and try out each.  I do not, so I'll probably get new Bauers whenever I go hockey shopping again.  The one thing that I do like is that all the big companies seem to include better skate bearings.  Back in the day, I was used to seeing abec 3's in most of the skates I bought.  It would be a pain to have to go out and buy better bearings for my new pair of skates.

Well, that's all i'm going to talk about for today.  I'm still pissed off about the old posts being removed thing.  Hopefully it won't affect this blog.  I'll be making more hockey equipment posts in the future.

Hockey Equipment: Mission Carbon Helmet Review

Are Mission Carbon Helmets good you ask? Yes, they are very good hockey helmets. I used to have a helmet that was made by the company Cooper. They were bought out I think by Bauer a long time ago. I still have the helmet although it is quite small now. The cage is now used on another helmet although I think I've outgrown that too. This was replaced by a Mission brand helmet. I'd like to give some reasons why the Mission helmet is an awsome helmet, although I don't know if they are made anymore. Some online hockey stores sell them and some don't.

Carbon Hockey Helmet Is Aerodynamic

This helmet has no seams. It is not pieced together with screws at different parts of the head. It is all one piece. This means that your speed advantage may increase a bit, which is always good in a fast sport such as hockey.

Carbon Hockey Helmet Is Tough

When I play hockey, I'm like a nat. I'm quick, fast and annoying if you are the opposing player and you have the puck. About 2 weeks after playing with the helmet, I frustrated one player so much, that he took his stick and did a full swing at my head. It was quite powerful. It knocked me the hell over. Being hit in the head with a hockey stick full force is quite a shock. While the force knocked me over, I was fully protected. Pissed off, but not harmed. When I went back to the bench and looked at the helmet, there was a tiny chip of paint removed despite the full forced swing and impact. The chip was about the size of a tiny freckle. I was impressed with helmet.

Carbon Hockey Helmet Is Made Of Carbon, Not Plastic

I remember reading the about section where I purchased the helmet. It said that it was made of the same carbon fiber material that is used for race car drivers. This is great considering a whole bunch of helmets out there use plastic and can break or crack if the impact is severe.

Well that was my experience with Missions hockey helmet, do i recommend it? Yes I do.

Goalie Pads For Roller Hockey Goalies

The hockey position I will be talking about next is a popular one. I will be focusing on the roller hockey goalie. The Goalie Pads For Roller Hockey Goalies is a proper title since this is what this entire post will be about.

Update:I've changed the title back to the original, because the focus between ice hockey goalies and roller hockey goalies are entirely different.

A word of warning, if you are thinking of getting into the goalie position, it can be the most expensive position in hockey. Goalies should always be extremely protected. You don't want to purchase cheap equipment when you are playing in the net. Notable companies that make good goalie gear are Sherwood, Bauer, TPS, CCM, Reebok RBK, Nike and a few others.

First things first, I was never actually a good goalie. I was terrible at it. I never liked the idea of pucks flying at my face going 100mph even if I had the best equipment and pads in the world. I usually played forward. Sometimes I was center, because I was quick at faceoffs. I also played winger alot too. So, I'll have to share with you the opinions of friend who was goalie.

Goalies like to be protected so they can do their job. The helmet is a key ingredient in that. A buddy of mine used to use a helmet with a very short neck area. That means that the helmet left the neck exposed. He liked this because he was able to move his head around more freely. He was fine with this, until he got hit in the neck hard. At this point, he decided to switch to an I-Tech goalie helmet. The only problem he saw with the I-tech helmet was that the neck piece came down real low and often got in his way. He even talked about sanding it down. I'm guessing a normal neck protector for goalies would be good for most people though.

Now, lets get on to what everyone wants to hear about most, the leg pads. I remember when he first started out, he used the brand that most kids used when starting out playing street hockey. This brand was Franklin. They used velcro straps. These pads were ok, but they did begin to rip when he started to play more aggressively in goal. The next brand he got is what most kids have when they start playing in hockey leagues, Mylec. Mylec goalie pads were better. They had a foam on the inside, but a hard plastic covering on the outside. He really liked these pads, but always complained about the buckles pinching his legs. They did last long though.

The next items I won't be able to go into too much detail about, because I can't remember all the brands that he used. He used a Franklin waffle for the longest time, but then switched over to a leather Cooper waffle. He also went from a Franklin glove, to a leather Cooper glove. He used a chest protector as well that was for ice hockey goalies. One odd thing he liked was using regular ice hockey player pants, instead of goalie pants.

Another thing you will see when playing street hockey, is that the goalies always used to play in their shoes. I think my friend was one of the only people who almost exclusively played in skates. For the longest time he used CCM buckle skates. This posed problems for him, because these skates weren't meant for hockey players let alone goalies. The buckles on the skates would always flip open when he went down to make a save. Eventually he decided to buy trick skates, the kind skaters would use to grind down railings. The reason he chose these, were because they were low to the ground just like goalie skates. It was actually hard to find goalie inline skates back in the day.

The last thing I should mention is the stick he used. For a long time, he used a Mylec goalie stick. This was a wooden stick, with a plastic blade. I would never recommend these sticks if you plan to play seriously, weather your a goalie or normal player. They break and wear down easily. My friend eventually settled on a wooden Cooper stick that lasted awhile, but eventually broke. Since Cooper was no longer around and was bought out by another company, he decided to go with a Sherwood goalie stick. The Sherwood is still in use to this day. Hope this has been informative on the hockey equipment known as goalie pads.

Bauer The Best Hockey Skates

Ok, so the Wayne Gretzky brand of inline skates turned were not the best hockey skates. I hear Reebok skates are a good brand now, but back in the day I couldn't buy them, I made a bad decision and bought a bad brand. That happens. In fact, it happens a whole lot in sports, especially when a player is new to that sport. After the whole wheels splitting, bearing rattling, boot separating skates of old, I went down to my local shop to pick out a new pair and this time I made a good decision.

I was on a budget so I couldn't spend a whole lot of money. I was surprised to see a pair of Bauers that was only like $130-$145. This was well before the Bauer Vapor existed. I can't remember the actual price, but it was around that low. These skates fit perfectly, no wobbling, everything was good. They even came with abec 3 bearings, the type I had to pay for after my Gretzky ones were worn out. So the boot was snug, the wheels were only ok, but the bearings were better than my last pair of skates.

This type of skate was different, because it had like a nylon threaded boot cap at the toe. I actually needed to buy a special kind of coating to coat and protect the toe area of the skate. It was called Protectoe. It was like a black rubber cement like material that would dry and harden. It was fun, gave me something to maitenance in between games.

Earlier I mentioned the skate wheels were only ok. They lasted longer than the Gretzky wheels, but eventually cracked and split. I got these new wheels called Hyper. They were a pair of sport court wheels, because I was playing indoor hockey at the time. These coupled with my bauers were awsome. They lasted longer than my previous pair and I was happy.

After the Bauers ended up with some wear and tear, I gave them away to a friend. What happened with the Bauer skates, was that the frame had cracked a little. They weren't the most expensive things in the world, so the frame was made of plastic. Later on I learned that it was beneficial to get aluminum chassis with your skates as they would offer better control and last longer.

The Most Popular Hockey Equipment Brands In The Sport

Ok, i'm going to give anyone reading this the run down on the most popular hockey equipment Brands. There are many types of brands some specialize in certain types of equipment. The abec brand is a type of brand that is used in bearings for hockey skates. Abec bearings usually come with Bauer and CCM skates. Lower end cheaper skates will come with Abec 3 bearings. Higher end more expensive skates usually come with abec 5 or higher.

There is also something called Swiss bearings. Swiss bearings are competitive with abec bearings. Some players swear that these bearings are faster and are of a better quality than abec. You usually find these bearings in Mission hockey skates. I'm not positive, but I think Mission almost exclusively uses Swiss in their line of skates.

Now, my memory is a little shoddy, so the history may be a little off on what i'm about to explain here. Ok, if you are a hockey player, then you know the CCM and Bauer brand. Both of these brands are known as all around equipment brands. They make pretty much any type of gear you see in hockey. A while back, there used to be a brand called Cooper. Cooper was bought out by Bauer. After this, Nike came out with hockey equipment. Then Nike decided to buy Bauer. So even though the name is different your money may be going to the same company.

There are a so many brands to choose from, but the ones I've named are the most popular and well known. Don't forget there is also Easton, who make awsome pads and sticks. There is also Reebok, who are also growing in popularity in the hockey equipment world. So that is the low down on hockey equipment brands.

Roller Hockey Pants Not Ice Hockey Pants

Wow 2 posts in one day. Roller hockey is my sport of choice, so I will be focusing on the best hockey pants for roller hockey. I guess I should explain the difference between the two before I get into it. Roller hockey pants or inline hockey pants as some like to call them, are basically used to cover your pads and make you more aerodynamic. They also provide another layer of protection and help your shin pads last longer. The other type of hockey pants are almost like padded shorts. They come down just above the knee. You see these more in ice hockey than you do in roller hockey. The best hockey pants are basically ones that fit you comfortably.

Ok, I can't remember the brand of my first pair of hockey pants. They may have been called ahi or rhi pants or something to that effect. They were way too big. I had to roll them up and use tape just so I could skate without tripping. They were also relatively cheap. At the time I was fairly new to hockey, so anything was better than nothing. Although in this case, I'm not positive about that.

Before I go any further I want to answer a question that may be in many peoples minds. Are hockey pants expensive? You bet they are. It all depends on how good they are and what brand of pants you are buying. The second pair of pants I bought were made by Black Biscuit. The Black Biscuit pair of pants were awsome. They were made of good material and they lasted long. The downside to them at the time was that they cost $70.

The third brand of hockey pants I bought were by Mission. These were my favorite pair. They looked really sleak and were very thick, yet lightweight. They even cost less than the Black Biscuit pants. I still use this pair today and they held up great over the years. So, make sure you get your size right when purchasing a pair of hockey pants, because if they don't fit, they aren't the best and the they won't be much good to you.

Abec Bearings Or Swiss Bearings

Ok, within the past 10 years, an important inline hockey decision is still being decided on and that decision is weather to go with Swiss bearings or Abec bearings in your inline hockey skates. So is Swiss better than Abec? Well there seems to be a whole bunch of disinformation regarding the subject.

I've been an inline hockey player for a long time. I can't say too much about the performance of Swiss, because I've never used them yet. I plan on buying them someday. From what I've seen they are a bit more expensive than abec bearings. Through out my roller hockey years, I've exclusively used abec bearings, but i've made mistakes in choosing them.

Abec Ratings

Abec ratings are numbers assigned to the bearings. You'll see abec 3, abec 5 etc... The mistake I made was thinking that the numbers represented how fast they were. They don't. The numbers on abec's bearings represent certain measurements within the bearings. I will say that when I had Abec 5 vs. Abec 3, the abec 5 did feel faster. In reality, the lubricant on the bearings are what will determine your speed.

Now I've read that Swiss bearings are faster than Abecs. This is subjective and most people will tell you one thing or the other. I've read everything from Swiss having to be broken in order to be faster, to the higher Abec ratings have a shorter lifespan. In the end, the only way to determine if you should go with Swiss bearings or Abec bearings, is to buy a each and use one after the other.

Alexander Ovechkin Hockey Equipment

Many of the people out there are looking for Alexander Ovechkin equipment. I did make an ovechkin related post on the website before. It was being critical of his celebrations and behavior on ice during hockey games. All of that aside, Ovechkin is one good hockey player. People's fascination with his equipment and hockey gear comes as no surprise. The same thing happened with Lemieux and Gretzky. I even wrote about my Gretzky hockey equipment in the very first post on this website.

To get right down to it, I've done some hockey gear research. So, if you want to have matching gear going with your Ovechkin jersey, then read on. CCM Vector has their own line of ovechkin sponsored equipment. This has to mean he has a deal with CCM. He also wears their Vector line of hockey skates as well. So if you want to be like your favorite player, better get some Vector hockey equipment.

CCM Vector Skates

The CCM Vector Skates are basically the type of hockey skates that CCM now manufactures. I've got no problems with CCM. In fact, I've said it before and I'll say it again, their skates that I own have lasted me longer than any other pair of inline hockey skates that I've had previously. If you want me to be more specific, I don't know anyone else who had a longer lasting pair of skates. We are talking inline skates here though, not ice hockey. The question I have is, are CCM's Vector skates that much more revolutionary than their old Tacks brand.

If you check the specs on the Vectors, you'll see that on the surface, there does not seem to be much difference than their old line of skates. I have to admit though, CCM does know how to sell a piece of hockey equipment. The CCM Vectors are much cooler looking and more streamlined than the Tacks. The one thing I'm reading about the Vectors that seem like they might be better is the whole weight shifting technology that claims to make the hockey player be able to skate faster. I don't own any skates of this type, so I can't review them. Maybe one day I will. Until then you'll either have to buy a pair yourself or take the company's word for it that CCM Vector Skates are what they say they are.

Roller, Street and Inline Hockey Pucks And Brands

One of the most important decisions you make when buying hockey gear, is buying the right hockey pucks. Now, this all depends on what kind of hockey you will be playing. Most indoor sport court leagues require you to use a roller puck, designed specifically for the indoor surface. Some of these are light, some may be a tad heavier. The problem with roller pucks is that they tend to roll like a wheel quite a bit.

If you are playing outdoors, street hockey, you have two options. You can go with a puck or you can go with a ball. The tends to have more of a constant motion. This can be good if you like the game to be more like its on ice. The downside to using a hockey ball, is that it can be a little too easy to scoop shots into the air. They also tend to take big air every now and then on slapshots. This can get annoying if the ball frequently flies out of the rink on every single slapshot. Some good hockey ball brands I used to play with were Mylec and Franklin. The best brand I've ever used was Eastons hockey ball. It was weighted perfectly in my opinion.

Outdoor Pucks

Outdoor pucks are another option street hockey players have. We used to use Mylec and Franklin outdoor pucks the most. These were good pucks, but like the indoor roller hockey pucks, they sometimes felt to light. We used to slice a small hole in the pucks and fill them with pennies. This would give the pucks a better weight and would allow for far more control in both shots and stick handling. Hope you've enjoyed this hockey gear info on pucks.

Roller Hockey Pucks

Yeah, I know there are outdoor roller hockey pucks, but if you play indoors on a sport court, you are going to need a different kind. Usually the indoor leagues buy the official type of roller hockey pucks. They have like like a normal puck shape, but some have these 3 ball/wheels that look like something you might see on the bottom of a computer mouse. The other kind of puck has a bunch of ball like things attached to it, but they don't move and there is also holes in the center of the puck.

Hockey Cages or Shields?

That it is the question. Do you choose hockey cages or shields when playing hockey? I'm not going to dwell too long on this topic other than to give a few thoughts and opinions on such an issue. When you choose a helmet, you most likely will have to pick weather you go with a cage or a shield. Cages are expensive, but shields are even more so.

When I was younger, we always used to play without helmets because it was easier to see. We didn't really worry about getting our heads smashed. It wasn't until we joined a league that we needed to buy helmets. I never really liked cages, they obscure too much of your vision. Up until I was about fifteen I had 20/20 vision. One day my eyes got worse and worse to the point where I needed glasses. I still played hockey without them though. Cages didn't help the issue.

My eyes got so bad that I would no longer be able to accept passes from teammates. I had to rely more on being a strong offensive player and increase my passing skills. Passing to other players that is. The problem was that anything more than 3-4 feet infront of my eyes was blurry. So if someone passed me the puck, my eyes couldn't coordinate where it was until it was already near my stick. Just think about how fast passes come at you and imagine closing your eyes until it is 1 foot away from your stick, then try to open them and judge where your stick should be. That was my problem and trust me, it was hard. I couldn't even accept slow passes somtimes.

Now, to compound these problems, my hockey helmet had a cage on it. Blurry vision, check. Cage in front of blurry vision, check. I haven't played hockey in a long time, but if i did, I would most likely go with a shield or visor. The reason I avoided these before, was because I heard that they can fog up pretty bad and to me, that would be worse than a cage. Today, I most likely would get a cage/visor combo shield. Itech makes these and they look good. This is basically my whole opinion on the hockey cages or shields question.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hockey Equipment: The Reason It Matters

Hockey equipment is not the same as other sports gear. Why is that? Take some time to think about it for little bit and you'll soon understand. Are you done yet? Can't figure it out? Well, I'll give you a hint. Think about inline hockey gear and tell me what's different about it when compared to stuff for other sports. Well for one there are wheels! Are wheels important for race car drivers? You bet your butt they sure are. So would they be just as important for a roller hockey player? Yes they would be extremely important.

I've gone through my fair share of equipment. I've tried products from all the big names. I've bought stuff from Bauer, CCM, Mission, Easton, Koho, Jofa. You name it, i've tried it. The only hockey sports company that I think I haven't tried anything from is Reebok. Although since Reebok now owns CCM, you can make the argument that I have actually tried their equipment. Heh. I've got opinions on all those companies. In fact, almost all of those opinions are favorable in one way or another. I'll reiterate which companies I like and what apparel I like to get from them and why, but for now I'm going to go into why hockey equipment can actually improve a player's performance significantly.

Hockey players need to be fast. Ever see a slow hockey player ever really make a difference? Defensive players maybe can, but they still need to be able to catch up to the offensive person when they are in the zone. I can go on and on about why speed matters in hockey or any sport for that matter. In fact, maybe I just will go on and tell you about why other companies and manufacturers think it is important too. What does protective gear for hockey and other sports have in common usually? I'll give a hint, it has to do with speed. Yeah, that's right the companies try and make their stuff aerodynamic. It works for both offense and defense in many ways. How fast can a player get the puck into another zone is important. How fast a player can catch up and engage another is important too. How quickly can hockey player avoid a check or hit? You see that all matters. I'll get back to the point on skate wheels now and why they are so great for inline hockey players.

So, if you play inline hockey, your hockey skate wheels matter greatly and will affect your performance in game. Now, it may in some cases depend on where you are playing. Well, not so much where as much as what type of surface you are playing on. I've said this over and over again. Indoor hockey leagues usually require the player to buy indoor hockey equipment or to be more specific soft wheels. Soft wheels grip the indoor hockey tiles and generally won't scuff the surface. Some leagues go as far as to tell the players they can't have any type of hockey wheels other than clear wheels. I always used to associate clear wheels with Kuzak for some reason. I think they may have had brand called Kuzak Clear that came on CCM Tacks hockey skates, but I'm not sure.

Anyways yeah, so if you are playing indoors that awsome, but what about playing outdoors. What if you are playing on cement or you are playing on street turf or any other kind of hardsurface? I used to play hockey on both and it's good idea to switch wheels to the right kinds for each surface. Usually you will buy harder hockey wheels to play on a hard surface. Is there a benefit to this? Well, harder wheels increase your speed so that helps out alot.

So will knowing about just those types of wheels help you? No of course not. Hockey equipment is probably more complicated than most sports gear. You have bearings inside those wheels. If the bearings are not taken care of, then forget it. You won't be that fast and you probably won't be having hockey games that are good for you. Bearing quality is important. I usually go with abec that have high ratings. Like abec 5, abec 7, or abec 9. Those are some pretty good hockey skate bearings, although I hear Swiss bearings are faster. I'll have to check that theory out some day. So once you get the bearings and wheels right for your hockey skates, that takes care of the speed issue. I could go into stuff like frames on inline hockey skates, but I won't. I will give this bit of advice. Stick to aluminum frames on your skates.

So which equipment did I use from what company? Well lets start off with a company called Cooper. They were bought out, by Bauer I think, but Cooper is what my first real hockey helmet was and I liked them. Nike Bauer I think makes similar style helmets now. The Cooper helmet was really light and sleak. I like it, but it did start to crack after a little use.

CCM, who are now owned by Reebok. What did I buy with the CCM brand name. Well, the first pair of gloves I ever purchased were CCM gloves. They were okay. The fabric tore on the inside part of the palm area. I actually stitched up myself even though I did a crappy job. Those gloves were nothing special though. What I liked about CCM was their skates. I particularly liked their Tacks brand of hockey skates. Those were good skates, but they didn't fit all that snug. I still don't regret buying them though, because they lasted for more than 10 years. An inline skate that can still be used 10 years later is something to be proud of in my honest opinion. I put those skates through hell too. Oh and before I forget, I used to buy nhl hockey jerseys that were made by them. You need jerseys to play hockey, you would look stupid without them, so I classify it as equipment.

Okay, I know I mentioned Jofa up there too. I know Wayne Gretzky used Jofa gear. I never liked their hockey helmets though. They looked to egg like to me. What I did like was Jofa's hockey gloves. The first pair I had of them was given to me for my birthday. They were an awsome gift. Those gloves were comfortable and had this awsome air cooling system. So my hands would never really get that hot and they wouldn't sweat as much when I played hockey. My second pair of gloves were also made by the same company. Like the first pair, these were also a gift. They didn't have the whole air cooling features within the gloves, but they were built better and more sturdy. It's important to have tough hockey gloves, because you don't want your hands to get injured by a highstick or anything of that nature. I almost forgot that I did have pair of Jofa elbow pads too as well as shin pads. The shin pads eventually broke. The knee cap protector seperated from the shin guard, but the elbow pads I still have.

I'll be short on the company Bauer. I think they are one of the best hockey companies there are. I don't even have any equipment by them at the moment. Their skates however did make an impression on me when I had them. I liked the way they fit. They were perfectly conformed to my foot. Well, almost. I had purchased a cheaper pair of Bauer hockey skates, but I was surprised at their quality. They were by far my most favorite.

Mission, they were bought out by Bauer recently. I actually recieved a pair of Mission hockey skates for Christmas. The problem was they did not fit me. I ended up taking them back to the store and purchasing the Tack skates that I talked about earlier. I did however come back to Mission when I purchased their inline hockey pants. I used to have Black Biscuit pants, but I wanted a change of pace and was happy I decided to switch. I do however have to wonder about weather it made me drop in skating speed. The bottom line is that my mission hockey pants were pretty tough and offered good protection as well. In hockey, protective equipment is a must, so they earn points in that respect. The other type of hockey gear I have from Mission are their shin guards. Mission makes some awsome shin pads and I'll just leave it at that. Ok, well I won't just leave it there. They have only 2 straps that wrap around the pad and are velcro, they fit perfect on me. I love em.

Ok, two other companies that I like and will include them together. The reason is that I like them for a certain type of equipment. Hockey sticks, or more specifically hockey stick blades. You know, the replacement blades. I will say that I have owned both Easton and Koho full hockey sticks. I usually by Koho sticks for use as backup sticks incase my blade breaks on my main ones. The Easton sticks I own are not really sticks, but hockey shafts. I like hockey shaft because I can always get replacement blades for them later. I always used to buy Koho hockey blades and I liked them. Every once and awhile though I would get an Easton blade. Oh and yeah, I do think hockey sticks are important for a player. They can improve his skill and shot tremendously. If your stick is light, you can stick handle faster and shoot quicker. Goalies hate that fancy crap, so make sure you buy a an ultra light hockey stick.

I think I've covered all the companies that I usually buy my gear from. Actually, that's not true. There are still two other companies that I always forget about, but they do make some useful hockey equipment or should I say accessories. Franklin and Mylec. These two companies make the best hockey balls and hockey pucks out there for inline hockey. So, if you play roller hockey on the street, you might want to get a hockey ball. I used to use the Franklin balls, but then eventually started going the pucks. The puck weight is never right for me, and I end up putting pennies inside it. Either that or you can go buy an RHI roller hockey puck. The pucks with those little wheels in them. They're ok. It all depends on the surface.

So you see, hockey players can have an advantage in what they buy. Everything counts. It's actually popular to buy from online hockey stores now. I've done that a couple times. Sometimes with good service, sometimes with bad service. I never name names though. I just won't shop there again. Maybe some of you will end up using this as a guide. I don't know, I just feel the need to write about hockey. I love roller hockey or inline hockey or whatever you want to call it. It's probably my favorite sport to play. I hope by reading this you will share my opinion that the right hockey equipment can help elevate a player.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Reebok Hockey Equipment

Everyone out there knows that Reebok hockey equipment or whatever gear they choose, can make or break a serious hockey player. Reebok hockey skates are more and more popular each day. Reebok is a company that is zooming full speed ahead at obtaining supremacy in the competition for best hockey gear manufacturer. The National Hockey League thinks that they are good enough to be called official equipment of the NHL. This company went from being a mere shoe company to dominating sports equipment. Think about that for a second. It doesn't take a genius to realize that Reebok is giving it there are all. The way I see it, hockey players both professional and recreational, will only benefit. While Bauer has reigned supreme all these years with CCM coming in at a very close second, they now have to up their game. When you see what's mostly known as a shoe manufacturer starting to gain speed in the hockey equipment department, you know you are in for a tough road ahead.



Lets take a look at Reebok's hockey skates for a second. We'll focus on the RBK series. They have included one of their old famous shoe designs, known as the pump, into the skate. The pump when you think about it, should be ideal for a hockey player. They need their skates to be extremely tight on their feet if they want optimal control. You can't be a fast player without some sort of control and in theory, the pump would be great for that. Are there drawbacks to the Reebok pump skate? There could be. I'm not familiar with all of the inner workings of the skate, but the pump probably works by trapping air in the boot of the skate. What happens if this breaks. Will it deflate and be left unstiff or loose? Will you also have to go out and buy a new pair of hockey skates? I don't know, maybe not though. Remember, they are endorsed by the NHL, so they most likely are a quality skate.



Remember when I said that CCM was always a close second and that Bauer had to get a move on? Well, CCM was bought out by Reebok. That is why you only see the official Reebok logo on the NHL jerseys now. While the fact that they obtained a quality hockey company should improve their products, I am always worried about the fact that us hockey players are having smaller and smaller choices when it comes to equipment. You have to look at the flipside though. Now that the two companies are under one roof, the technology for making hockey gear should vastly improve.



There were some dark spots on the company in 2008. Reebok had to recall around one thousand helmets because of faulty chin straps. The RBK helmet models HT4K up to HT8K were the ones that were recalled. I'm pretty sure even with this minor setback, there were no reported injuries with the defective helmets. I can forgive them for this little blunder and I'm sure most hockey players will too.



The RBK Inline Series of Equipment



Their current line of skates are:



Crimson Shadow



- The Pump

- TRI-DI Lite Aluminum Chasis

- Rink Rat Hockey Wheels



Resurrektion



- The Pump

- TRI-DI Lite Extruded Aluminum Chasis

- Rink Rat Hornet Wheels



Dusk



- The Pump

- TRI-DI Lite Extruded Aluminum Chasis

- Rink Rat Hot Shot Wheels

- Skatelock



Forsaken



- The Pump

- TRI-DI Lite Extruded Aluminum Chasis

- Rink Rat Hot Shot Wheels

- Skatelock

- Side Vamping with air intake



Azure



- Rink Rat VT 733 Wheels

- Side Vamping with air intake

- Embossed tendon guard

- Vented toe cap



Anyone who's familiar with roller hockey would be able to tell which one is the best skate. I'll help out a bit. I'm going to go ahead and say that I think it is the first one. The first skate seems to be their top of the line one too. I've got no idea what the actual retail price is, but I've seen these skates going for upwards of four hundred dollars. If you search for your online hockey stores, you may be able to get it on discount. Sometimes if you have a certain size foot, they'll have an extra pair that usually is hard to sell and they may mark off the price on the inline skates.

So, there you have it. With all the hoopla regarding Reebok as the number one hockey equipment manufacturer, I can very well say that they atleast seem to be trying their hardest. With a brand name like CCM under their belt I have faith in them. I've been dying to try out a pair of their RBK skate series, maybe one day I will.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Best Ice Hockey Skates

Well, I've decided to write about something different. I've written about the best hockey skates. Now it's time to find out just what exactly are the best ice hockey skates. I've never played ice hockey. I've played roller hockey, but never actually played the sport on ice. I have however, ice skated. I've also skated on inline skates as well. I've gone through my fair share of equipment in my time playing hockey. So, I know a little bit about doing both. Skating that is.

My first pair of ice skates were Bauers. These weren't the normal hockey skates though. They were almost covered in a plasitc shell. The entire boot was. This is different than normal hockey skates, which are usually made of leather. These skates were good, but they almost seemed like toys. I later upgraded to a pair of leather Bauers. I'm not sure what version they were called, but they were much better. I guess, I'm going to have to say that Bauer rules both the inline hockey world and the ice hockey world when it comes to skates.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Hockey Equipment Posts Have Been Scarce

Why haven't there been any posts for information regarding the best hockey equipment? Well, for one people have been researching my hockey blog and copying my posts. I noticed certain individuals scouting it for awhile now. So, I've moved on to better projects that will basically make this little sports information blog look like nothing. This new project will be the total hockey experience. The people doing the research to compete with me will have no chance of doing so. Will I still post here? Yes, I'll post on hockey stuff from time to time and if anyone has questions, I will answer them. I think it's a bunch of BS that I can't post any information or experiences I have regarding certain companies equipment such as Bauer, CCM, Mission, Reebok, Nike, or Cooper without that info being stolen just so some other site can compete to sell crap. Its garbage man, those hockey stores that research my blog probably will go crazy trying to compete with the new thing I have in store.

So yeah, my new project will be the total of hockey stuff that I know. Kinda like this one is, except on steroids. More information on hockey gear and other stuff. I'm going to cover all aspects of the sport. From skates in inline hockey, to the gear used in ice hockey. All kinds of equipment will be covered. It'll be awsome. I won't even have to mention anything about it here. People will find this on their own. It's going to be totally awsome. I love hockey too much to give up this type of stuff. I'll continue to give out information that I have regarding my past experience playing the sport, so you don't have to worry about that. The total amount of effort I put into this blog can be seen by just reading through my past updates. I love the sport as you can see.

I'm not going to mention any more brands and types of equipment on this blog for the time being. Because when I do, this stuff that I write ends up being used by others to sell hockey equipment from 'certain' other online hockey stores. They probably think that I don't know what they are doing, but I do. I have known for awhile now. I've been too busy working on something else that is more worth my time. So they can go after and think stealing information from this little blog all they want will help their companies. It won't. Well, that's it for now, I'll be talking about hockey equipment some more in the future.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Koho Hockey Blades Were Great

Koho blades, what are they? They used to be a brand of hockey stick blades. They also sold actual whole sticks, but the blades were more popular because they could be interchanged with aluminum sticks.

I know that I've mentioned this before, I think. When I played hockey growing up, I almost always exclusively preferred composite type sticks. I'll talk more about Koho blades in a second, but the reason I liked composite sticks is that they were two piece. Which means, if the blade broke, I could just buy another one. I wouldn't have to replace the whole hockey stick. I didn't like all the one piece wooden sticks, because they felt to heavy. I was a speedy player and needed something light that I could stick handle with quickly.

Now the whole Koho blade comes in because the store down the street from me always had them in stock. In fact, they might've been overstocked on them. Koho's brand also sold for much cheaper than some other brands. For example, I remember Easton blades being $5-10 more. Now, this could just be fuzzy memory, but I think once in awhile those prices would come down on the Easton ones and I would get them occasionally. I liked Easton, but they weren't as readily available as Koho.

One thing about these blades is that they lasted a long time. They were very thick and wouldn't wear down as quick as some other hockey stick blades out there. There were also some hockey player endorsed blades that Koho had. The name was usually written in black on the top. The most easy to find type of blade was their Big Curve version. I was always buying those. I will admit that it was difficult stick handling with a brand new blade from Koho because they were very thick blades, but after awhile, they were awsome.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bauer Hockey Skates

I've written many great things about Bauer's company, just check out my post on Nike Bauer Vapor Skates. What do I know about Bauers' skates? Well I know that for a while they used the aluminum TUUK frame for their inline hockey skates. I think this was both before and after Nike bought out Bauer, but I'm not certain. I know that I like the way they fit me at the time. I did however change out the wheels. You see, at the time I was playing indoor inline hockey and I didn't like the wheels they came with. Not only that, but it was mandatory in the league to use sport court hockey wheels.

Are Bauer hockey skates good now? I can't say for sure, but I almost bought a pair when I was looking at some specs awhile ago. I would say the probably are if I had to guess. It would be interesting to see how they measure up to Reebok skates in a test. One day, when I decide to lace up again, it'll most likely be in a pair of Bauer skates.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hockey posts being copied...

It appears that someone is copying alot of my hockey posts. I'm currently trying to take care of the issue, but so far, things have been progressing slowly. The person in question followed my blog and was visiting almost everytime I updated. They were taking posts at random apparently. In some cases, they slightly reworded my posts, but on a whole they were still the same.

Hopefully, the powers that be will take care of this as I've contacted them(Google) on more than one occasion. The person copying my blog runs two sports equipment sites with ads all over them. They mix my content in with other content that looks like it might be copied as well. I'm going to have to refrain from making any hockey equipment posts until this issue is resolved. Who knows, it might be some type of automated program doing this and they might copy this post too. Anyways, I have all the evidence of this, I am just waiting...

Update: I've tried changing various settings in the blog by disabling the RSS Feed, so it doesn't notify the copier of updates, but I still will not make any new updates until the offenders websites have been shutdown.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reebok Hockey Gear RBK

OK, my loyalty has always and I mean always been to bauer and ccm hockey. Lately however, I am thinking of trying a new equipment manufacturer. Reebok, has made great shoes for a number of years. Their logo is almost as famous and recognizable as the Nike swoosh logo. I made no secret about the fact that it recently came to my attention that they were the official sports equipment provider of the NHL. Now that's impressive. To me that means something. Will Reebok hockey equipment be good for me? I don't know.


Reebok HockeyYou see, in order for a company to overtake names like Nike Bauer and CCM, it must be doing something right. I've also noticed that they have been growing great in popularity. I've seen information that suggests that more people are interested in Reebok as a hockey equipment manufacturer now, than ever before. They have shortened their hockey gear name to RBK. Which is pretty much what you will see on all their sports stuff.

RBK hockey equipment will continue to grow in the years to come, atleast, that's the way I see it. They already have shin pads, hockey sticks, hockey helmets and some great hockey skates as well. If they can improve their equipment anymore I would be surprised.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hockey Gear In The Summer?

I haven't posted in the month of July yet, because hockey equipment isn't really on my mind at the moment. It gets really hot in the summer and putting on 10 pounds of hockey pads isn't my idea of a fun time. I tried playing in the heat before at an outside hockey rink and the result wasn't pretty. I got extremely sick and dizzy. Before you know it I couldn't even stand or move without feeling like I was going to vomit. I couldn't even skate home. I had to have someone come and drive me home. I felt absolutely awful and I drank about 2 bottles of Gatorade. Hockey wasn't on my mind for awhile after that experience. Trust me, try playing in the sweltering heat and it will kick your butt.

I would avoid playing hockey in the summer. Unless of course you want to ditch all your equipment and use just a stick and skates. I wouldn't recommend it, because if I'm going to play at all, I want to go all out and not have to hold back because I don't have pads on. Bottom line is, if you play 90 degree weather you will get dehydrated and feel extremely sick. Part of this has to do with the pads. The other part of this is the fact that you are skating around and sweating. This combination is dangerous. Hockey itself is dangerous enough as it is you don't need to compound that factor by adding scorching temperatures to the mix. Do yourself a favor, in the summertime, ditch the hockey gear and find something else to do.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cheap Hockey Equipment | Yields Cheap Results

The one that thing that stinks about playing hockey is that it is so expensive. Cheap hockey equipment is the answer to that problem. Or is it? You see while hockey is an expensive sport, hockey equipment needs to be top of the line. You can buy cheap hockey stuff and you'll end up with a ton of problems when you to play. I remember I bought the cheapest helmet I could find. It was a twenty dollar Mylec roller hockey helmet. The plastic was cheap and cage on the helmet was hard to see out of. Not to mention the thing didn't fit well at all. This was when I was younger and was just starting. While it was good to have a helmet, it did not improve my skills. That is the thing with hockey equipment, if you get top of the line, you will play top of the line.

I mentioned the Mylec helmet was cheap. It was. Not to take anything a way from Mylec, they are a good roller hockey company and they make great hockey balls and roller pucks. You just need to do your research. Bauer has great helmets as do Itech and CCM. They aren't cheap though, so prepare to spend money. Sometimes you'll find discount hockey equipment online, which will help you save a few bucks. Finding stuff online you can pay a cheap price and still get top of the line hockey gear.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ice Hockey Bags For Carrying Your Gear Are Essential

Ice hockey bags are they needed for hockey players? I think they are. Now, I've been in many hockey leagues. I've played roller hockey in outdoor leagues. I've also played inline hockey in indoor leagues. I almost always see people with some kind of bag to carry their gear. Do they all have a hockey bag? No. Some use gym bags and some use backpacks. Most don't. The problem with using a generic bag to put all your hockey stuff in, is that they will not hold everything as good as a bag that is designed to. Hell, you can have many uses for a sports bag not having to do with sports. The fact that they are so big means if I go on vacation I can just put a whole bunch of clothes and other stuff in there and off I go. I know i've jumped back and forth a little bit here, so I'm going to tell a story about when I was a young hockey player.

Hockey players need alot of expensive equipment and an ice hockey bag to carry it all. Back when I first started playing inline hockey, I would just put on all my gear and head down to the rink. I would actually skate down since it was pretty close. The more advanced you get when playing roller hockey or ice hockey, the more stuff you will need to be wearing. If you join a league, then you most likely will need something to carry your hockey gear. This is especially true when you sign up for an indoor hockey league. Indoor leagues most of the time will not want you skating into their building with all of your stuff on, especially if they have other sports and or fitness programs in their facility.

This is where your ice hockey bag comes in. I first started with a gym bag to put all my hockey equipment in it. Eventually it ripped, because it wasn't tough or big enough to house my gear. As a gift, I was given a TPS ice hockey bag. This thing was huge. It was basically a big blue bag with tough material and plenty of pockets for accessories like hockey tape, pucks or jerseys. I also used this bag for when I went on vacation or traveled. These bags are great if your a goalie, you can even use them as goalie bags if you wish. TPS ice hockey bags are so huge, you can use them to store things other than hockey stuff.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Best Hockey Skates

What are the best hockey skates for inline hockey players? Ok this is a trick question to all you aspiring hockey players out there. I'm not going to name an equipment brand like Bauer, CCM, Mission or Reebok. My main goal of this post is to state what I believe a good inline skate should be from my own experience playing roller hockey.

Hockey skates like an other type of skates need to be stiff so that the player can control them. The goal here is that where ever your feet move, the skates should move with it. That is not all you need though. You also want the skates to be flexible even though they are stiff. This is so that you can pivot and make turns and move in and out of player traffic. Remember Hockey is a fast sport that can get crowded quickly, the ability to dodge and weave around other players is essential to obtaining scoring chances. The laces on the skates need to be tied tight as well so that it helps adhere the boot to your foot. This is all apart of what I would call the upper part of the skate.

In the lower part of the skate you focus on speed. I've talked many times about how inline hockey skates need to be fast. I've also mentioned about the need for smooth skating as well. You need to have good bearings to insure smoothness when skating. This in combination with the correct set of wheels will also help maintain grip and control when playing hockey. Everyone of these things may not seem that important to have all together, but I wouldn't even play a game of inline hockey if I was missing one of these elements. These elements, in my opinion are precisely what you need in order to have the best hockey skates for you.

There are too many hockey equipment companies out there in order to say which one is the best. I mean, Reebok, Bauer and other skate companies all have a good line of selection. While Reebok is most likely gaining popularity with it's skates due to the partnership with the NHL, I cannot fully recommend them because I haven't tried them out yet. I will say that their features do seem very cool. They've taken their shoe pump and applied it to hockey skates. How will this affect you the hockey player? I don't know. It could end up being a feature that makes you skate better.

The only company I can say for certain that made my best pair of skates would have to be Bauer. These skates were everything I wanted and more. Keep in mind, these weren't even the most expensive kind. In fact, I think they were one of the cheapest pair of hockey skates in the store at the time. I mainly liked them because they fit me real good. I actually read that Bauer skates fit better on players with a more narrow foot. I don't know if it's true, but my CCM Tacks were more wide than my Bauer skates. This in turn caused me some problems while playing hockey when I first bought them. Do you want to know how I solved it. Just wear double socks. Although doing that can cause blisters. I usually ended up putting cotton where my heal was. There's more friction in the skate if you have two pairs of socks on.

So I can vouch for Bauer. I think Reebok is a reputable company. I believe they both offer quality skates. I've had experience playing hockey with Bauer skates. The fact that I mention them all the time shows what I think of them. I think they were my best hockey skates.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reebok Hockey Skates

Ok in these past 10 years or so, A popular shoe company entered the hockey gear scene and they were called Reebok Hockey Equipment. For a while now, I've noticed Reebok hockey pads have become widely used with inline players. That is not the only equipment that they have on the up and up. Then, came their skates. Now they are the official NHL equipment carrier. That's right, Reebok and their hockey department are now officially endorsed by the national hockey league. Reebok's hockey skates have been growing in popularity ever since. My guess is that once Nike got into hockey equipment, Reebok dove in too. Well, atleast to me it seems that way. So what do Reebok's skates have to offer? Well the skates are named RBK skates. They also come in certain variations, the RBK 4k, RBK 6k, and the RBK 8k. This is the order from least expensive to the most expensive.

One of the cool things I found out about Reebok's roller hockey skates is that they brought back the pump technology introduced in the 90's with sneakers. This seems like it would be ideal for a hockey skate, because the boot needs to be tight and fastened to the player as much as possible without discomfort. You never want your foot to be moving around in a skate boot, you could fall or even break your ankle.

Aside from the overall cosmetic coolness to the skate, it seems like they would be pretty good for an offenseman. I know there are plenty of players in the NHL that use Reebok's hockey gear, and the company is a reputable footwear brand. They have have a nice set of bearings too. The RBK 6K PUMP sr. skate, which is middle of the line, comes with ABEC-7 bearings. I would always go for skate bearings that are ABEC-5 rating or above as I've found them to be the smoothest while skating. Whatever the case, they certainly do seem to have a good grasp of making skates.

RBK hockey gear is where it is at right now. The NHL wants them, now the players want their stuff. We are talking all players of the sport. Anyone who plays inline hockey, to street hockey, or to ice hockey. They are interested in this brand right now. I myself, am an avid roller hockey player. While there are many skates to choose from when playing roller hockey, I wouldn't mind trying out a pair of Reebok hockey skates if I had the chance, maybe i'll check out their pads too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Roller hockey equipment

I could go on and on about how all the hockey equipment is different. I'm no expert, but I do have experience when it comes to things like hockey pads and the like. For those of you that read this blog, you know that my main focus is the equipment that is used in the sport. I actually played offense, but I could play defense as well. In the sport of hockey, you sometimes have physical offensive players and physical defensive players. I was neither.

If you are either of the above, than you might not be too much into the performace of your hockey equipment. You just want to go where the puck is and check the opposing teams players. The goal for a tough hockey player is to take out other players by brute force. There's nothing wrong with that and sometimes you may want extra padding in your pads so that you don't get injured.

I on the other hand, relied heavily upon my hockey gear. I wanted everything optimized for speed. Since I was in the sport of inline hockey, I had to make sure my skates were light. I needed the boot on the skates to be stiff and tight. The frame that held the wheels had to be aluminum for long lasting life. I also wanted to buy myself the best type of roller hockey wheels available. I usually added 2 soft wheels and two 2 hard wheels to each skate. This way, when I played, I would have an good amount of speed and good amount of control. I didn't want too much of either. High level abec bearings were what I used in the wheel. This was important for speed and a smooth skating experience.

When I firsted started playing roller hockey, I knew that I wanted to be a fast player. So i worked on my speed and movement. My style of playing differed from others. I would let other people get to the puck first along the boards, because I was confident enough that I would be able to pick it off them with ease and skate away with it. This was my trick to getting alot of breakaways. Scoring was one thing, but getting breakaways was easy for me. The game of hockey relies heavily on scoring chances, so i figured the more breakaways I got, the more I would eventually score. That was my trick. Hat tricks came easily this way. Practice makes perfect wit this type of playing, but the roller hockey equipment can add 20-30% or more to how good you end up being.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bauer Hockey,Reebok Hockey and CCM Hockey Equipment

Update: Keep in mind that at the time of my writing this I was not aware that Reebok had owned CCM. The title should actually read Bauer and Reebok only. Also, it is important to point out that Nike no longer owns Bauer. Some private investor bought the company. I do however think that the swish logo is still allowed to be displayed on the Bauer's hockey gear though. The business in hockey and sports companies in general is very interesting. So many deals and what not in order to entice the players and fans to buy their products. It certainly makes everything more interesting if not confusing. I hope you enjoy the rest of this old post. I've left it as is.

3 of the top hockey companies in the world are Bauer Hockey, Reebok Hockey and CCM Hockey. Back when I was playing inline hockey, all the equipment that players were getting were either from Bauer or CCM. These two companies were the head of the hockey equipment business. A short time after Nike came into play. At first they had their own brand that I didn't think was very good, but they wised up and bought Bauer. To me, they basically used the name Nike and Bauer to increase sales. I think at the time, the most popular brand of skates were CCM Tacks. The CCM Vector skates didn't exist at this point. Bauer skates were growing too.

A short time later, Reebok entered the scene and started to get more and more popular with hockey players. I attribute this to the endorsement deals they had with some popular NHL stars. I won't mention the Mission company as they have since been bought out by Bauer. The point here is to take a look at the popularity of these companies. According to google hockey trends with these companies, Bauer hockey is the most searched for. CCM is second, but they seem to be declining on the graph. Reebok hockey has grown, but they are still not quite as popular as CCM hockey. An interesting thing to note is that Reebok has gone through spikes of popularity at certain points in time. Reebok hockey has even overtaken Bauer hockey on certain occasions.

What can be gathered from this hockey search information? Well, for one, CCM seems to be declining in searches. Bauer is still on top. Reebok, while at the bottom, can sometimes gain among hockey players. One important piece of info regarding these hockey rankings is the amount of decline of interest in these hockey companies. What does this say about hockey overall? Maybe hockey is in a slump sportswise. Either way, you can still get your hockey equipment from Bauer, Reebok, or CCM.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Easton Hockey Skates

I have a relative who just bought a pair of Easton hockey skates. He told me that they cost him like $170 or something. At first, I thought wow, the prices of hockey skates sure have come down since I first started playing. I then realized quickly that he was talking about Ice hockey skates. You see, while ice hockey skates and inline skates are similar sometimes in boot design, I imagine that is where cost similarities would end.

Ice skates have a boot and a blade. Inline skates have a boot, a frame, wheels, bearings and screws. So as you can see, an inline skate would most likely cost more. I always assumed good inline hockey skates would be between $200-300. I could be wrong as prices seemed to have dropped these past few years though. Bearings can be expensive too. I think the standard bearings that come with skates are abec bearings. If you have a pair that come with swiss bearings the price will most likely go up a bit.

There's nothing wrong with any of this, it is just something i noticed. I've always considered Easton my go to hockey company for sticks and gloves. I imagine they would make good skates too though. If anyone has a chance to try out a pair of Easton hockey skates that are for inline or ice play, let me know how they are.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nike Bauer Vapor Skates

Not too long ago, I purchased a pair of Nike Bauer Vapor skates from an online dealer. I'm not going to say which online hockey store it was, as they threw my order around various dates and I ended up canceling. So, I never got Bauer Vapors because of poor service from some hockey dealer. That doesn't mean I won't try buying them again though. If I do decide to buy a pair of skates, I'll most likely get a Bauer brand. The Vapor hockey skates were well priced and weren't too expensive and I always thought that Bauer skates fit me better than other brands.

What's interesting about the Bauer's Vapors, are that they come in different versions. You have Vapor XXV which is usually priced between $250-300. These were the pair that I was trying to buy, I thought they were good enough for the price. I believe their highest priced skate is the Vapor x60. They can run upwards of $600. To me that seems way too expensive for a hockey skate. There's no way i'd buy a pair of skates for that price. So, until Nike and Bauer comes out with a new line of inline skates, I'll probably be buying those awsome Nike Bauer Vapor skates.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

NHL Playoff Games

As I sit here and write this, the NHL has the playoffs going and there are two teams that are in a heated battle. The Penguins and the Hurricanes. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't like the team the Penguins have right now. I'd rather have Carolina win this series. The playoffs in hockey are a time when it's the most tough. There are fights and furious play. I know in hockey that is a given, but this is the time when the enforcers in the sport do their dirty work the most. They get the crowd going, they pick on the flashy players on the opposing teams and then they fight with the other enforcers. This is what the NHL playoffs are all about.

Like I said, I'm not fan of these Penguins. Not a Crosby fan at all. He is a good player, I just don't like him. I miss the Mario days and I miss the Jagr days. Those two were some awsome players. So anyways, not much to say other than the playoffs are the best time of the season for the NHL. They are the most exciting time to be a fan of hockey. So even if your team hasn't made it, just give a game or two a watch and you'll see some cool things going down. That's all I really have to say. I just hope the NHL can rise up from the ashes and gain some sort of popularity again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Inline Hockey: Summer

Inline hockey in the summer time. Back when I was younger, we played hockey all year round. The fall and winter were the ideal times. It wasn't too hot for us wearing our hockey equipment and not too many people would be at the park using the hockey rink for something else. In the summer time, it was a different story. Not only would there be more people wanting to use the rink, but sometimes it would be difficult to play hockey without feeling sick.

If you do decide to play hockey in the summer and it is at an outdoor rink, make sure you bring plenty of water and gatorade. You can easily get dehydrated if you do not. This will happen when you are wearing all your protective equipment while playing hockey. If you overheat your body will get dizzy and you'll feel like throwing up. It's not the best feeling in the world, so all hockey players keep this warning in your head.

There are a couple of ways we used to play hockey in the summer without the heat getting to us. They aren't recommended, but I'll mention them anyway. We never used our helmets. This may seem pretty stupid to me now, but at the time it helped with the heat. In fact, our hockey pads would probably drop to only what we felt we needed. For example, I only used to wear my shin pads and gloves. I didn't wear any other hockey equipment in the summer except for the hockey pants that went over the shin pads. I wouldn't even think of putting on shoulder pads in the summer.

Speaking of shoulder pads, I always felt bad for our goalies. They on the other hand, did wear all of their goalie equipment when we played hockey in the summer. They would sometimes get sick and need a break in between playing. If you are a goalie, make sure you bring plenty of fluids if you decide to play in the summer heat. The temperature for the day is what really makes it difficult to play. If it went above 90ยบ, then we most likely would cancel our hockey for that day. In my personal opinion, it is best to play in the low to mid 80s at most in the summer. Any higher than that and it starts to become a chore to play roller hockey.

If the temperature was way to high, but we just had to play hockey, there were a couple of other options. One was to rent a skating rink out. These were air conditioned so playing hockey in them meant we could do so without the discomfort of the heat. They would require us to wear all of our hockey equipment though. The other option was to join a summer hockey league. We did do this, but they are expensive. Sometimes renting the hockey rink would be the better option. So, as you can see there are plenty of things to consider when playing inline hockey in the summer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hockey Equipment

Sometimes, hockey equipment or any type of sports equipment can be a pain to buy. There are so many different items to choose from. Your hockey helmets have many different companies that manufacture them. If you were to walk in to a sports store, they may not have all brands like Bauer, Nike, Mission, CCM, or Jofa. They may only have one or two. Same goes with sticks. Any time I walk in to a store, I see Easton sticks and for replacement blades I see either Easton or Koho blades.

This is most likely has to do with the area that I live in. Your hockey equipment that you find will be different depending where in the country you yourself live. Hockey stores on the east coast will be different from the west coast. In a small example, the west coast might sell different type of hockey equipment that is used during the summer time. Pro beach hockey players most likely use vented equipment to keep them from over heating in the hot sun and the high temperatures out west. Sometimes some vendors will sell these in areas that normally wouldn't carry them. So, you can get lucky and get some vented hockey gloves like I did by accident.

I've said this a million times, if you want variety or to even know what the latest hockey gear looks like, then you may want to shop at an online hockey store. Here are some words of wisdom for anyone considering this. Try and find an online dealer that sells exculsively online. I've had the displeasure of purchasing hockey equipment from a hockey shop in a different state that happens to take orders online. The end result was that they put my order on the back burner and neglected it until I spoke up about it. I ended up canceling my order for the hockey gear that I purchased and was refunded.

So, to save yourself trouble, don't be afraid to order online. There are a whole bunch of good hockey stores out there. Just make sure they have written that they only sell their products online. You don't want to be sitting around waiting for your stuff to arrive and then be told that they haven't placed an order to the manufacturer at all and your hockey equipment didn't show up in the store.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hockey Equipment Sale

Everytime you go to get a new pair of skates or stick, you should always look for a hockey equipment sale. Now, you can find all kinds of sales and hockey discounts on the internet. The internet is full of online hockey stores with great prices. Not only that, you can specifically search for coupons on that particular sports equipment that you intend to buy. For example, if you want to buy a new hockey stick and you are looking for coupons, you might try searching for hockey sticks coupons and the name of the company you like. You could search "hockey equipment coupons" "online hockey store".

After you do some of the leg work, then it is up to you to choose your piece of gear. You can compare and contrast the different online hockey stores. I do this all the time to find out if I am really getting a discount or sale on my gear or not. I've purchased number of hockey items from online stores. I've bought everything from helmets and hockey pants,to inline skates and I always made sure I got a good deal on the equipment.

I hope all of this helped out your online hockey sales searches. There are number of different search terms you could go try, it's endless. I would love to list more of them, but to keep this short, always search for your hockey coupons before you do your online shopping. There's a zillion stores out there and I'm pretty sure that everyday there is some kind of hockey equipment sale.